Right after the pre-judging was completed at the 2010 Arnold Classic, Hidetada Yamagishi was not satisfied. “I tried my best but I want to win this show so I [hoped] to be in the first call-out,” he said backstage. The six-year pro made the second call-out and eventually placed eighth in a very deep line-up.
But that all changed six weeks later when Yamagishi stood in the winner’s circle at the second annual Europa Show of Champions in Orlando, Florida. The native of Japan was looking much sharper than he did in Ohio and was rewarded by the judges. Marcus Haley and Evgeny “Eugene” Mishin – two bodybuilders that needed a strong show at this point in their careers – finished second and third, respectively.
Eduardo Correa Da Silva won the 202 class and was followed by Roc Shabazz and Jose Raymond. Erin Stern prevailed in the figure category, with Marcy Porter and Cheryl Brown next. In fitness, a few surprises occurred with Erin Riley and Nicole Duncan not even placing, while Camala Rodriguez was named the winner. Regiane Da Silva was the runner-up while Myriam Capes finished third. Nathalia Melo Moreira won the bikini division and Jamie Baird (second) and Missy Coles (third) right behind her.
Haley, 37, had his highest placing as a professional and also took home the Best Poser award. Last year, the Florida resident finished ninth at the Iron Man Pro, 13th at the Arnold, 10th at the Tampa Pro and 12th at the Europa Super Show. The Russian Mishin has always had the size at 6′2″ and 300 pounds, but had only one top-10 placing since his pro debut at the 2003 Night of the Champions. That came at his previous show, the 2009 New York Pro, at which he finished eighth.
By earning his first pro win, Yamagshi can finally let the three second place finishes behind him. He was the runner-up to Troy Alves at the inaugural Europa Show of Champions, Gustavo Badell at the 2009 Atlantic City Pro and Melvin Anthony in January’s Phoenix Pro.
How does Yamagishi get prepared for so many shows in a calendar year? “It doesn’t bother me because I am used to it from being an amateur,” Yamagishi said. With three shows already behind him in 2010, you have to figure that Yamagishi will compete at the Mr. Olympia. The top three in all the categories (minus bikini) at the April 17 show qualify to take the stage in Las Vegas come September.
And now when people talk about a stacked competitor list, Yamagishi will be amongst that group.